ISEE is structured around three major themes which are the focus of the Professional Development Program (PDP): 1) Inquiry; 2) Equity & Inclusion; and 3) Assessment.
These themes have emerged from many years of work, and continue to evolve. ISEE focuses on them because they have particular relevance to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in higher education and the STEM workplace, and because they can be translated into concrete strategies, design principles, and behaviors that ISEE participants (those who do the PDP) can use throughout their careers.
This summary is intended to describe the themes, and the focus areas within each theme, in just enough detail to give the reader a taste of what will be included in the PDP. It is not meant to describe and define everything, but rather to stimulate the interest of potential ISEE participants.
Applicants to the PDP are asked to read about our themes, and then tell us on their application about one or two of the elements or focus areas (e.g. “cognitive STEM practices”) that are of particular interest to them.
ISEE has developed a framework to help our community define “What is inquiry?” The framework includes six elements that ISEE considers essential to inquiry, in particular in a STEM higher education and workplace environment. Participants in ISEE programs use these elements to design, teach, and assess an inquiry learning experience (or “activity”).
Improving equity and inclusion in STEM involves many considerations, driven by multiple areas of research. ISEE has developed research-informed “focus areas” in Equity & Inclusion that are emphasized in our professional development and that inform our other programs. Unlike the inquiry “elements,” which provide a relatively complete framework for thinking about inquiry, the focus areas in the Equity & Inclusion theme are not intended to provide a complete framework for thinking about equity and inclusion in STEM. Instead, the Equity & Inclusion focus areas provide some fruitful, practice-oriented lenses for viewing the design and implementation of STEM learning environments. These focus areas can prompt and guide revisions and redesigns furthering equitable and inclusive STEM workforce development.
Assessment is a complex, research-driven field in education. As with the Equity & Inclusion theme, we simplify the Assessment theme somewhat by concentrating on specific “focus areas.” These focus areas are not meant to encompass the field of assessment, but are meant to help ISEE participants move beyond traditional tests as the primary means of assessing student performance and capabilities, to thinking about and implementing assessment for learning, and for evaluating the learning outcomes that are most important.